“In 2010, the cellphone market clearly reformed into the smart phone oriented market. So mobile game must follow the trend,” said YongKuk Lee vice president of Gamevil at the?Overview of Global Game Trends 2011.
The smart phone penetration rate is still as low as 15%. But he said the market already tilts to the smart phone since the public consider it as a high tech product and the feature phone as an old era product. He exampled pager and CT phone of early 20th century as an old era product.
“CT phone had had competitive price at that time but it had been unable to overcome the impression of the cellphone which is ‘future-oriented high tech product’ and could not help fading away in silence. The feature phone and the smart phone will likely follow the similar aspect and the trend of the mobile game market has also been going to the smart phone naturally,” said Lee.
■ Tablet PC, A New Opportunity for Mobile Game Developer
If we say 2010 was the year that reformed the mobile game market into the smart phone-oriented, what would 2011 be? Lee picked ‘Tablet PC’ first.
Yet the tablet PCs like iPad or Galaxy Tab are still questionable on its usage and the result in Korea. Since it is a hardware between desktop PC and smart phone, not only mobile game developer but also developers for various platforms like console game and even online game can participate in.
“As the tablet PC is anyway a portable equipment, the mobile game developers who understand the characteristic of it the most will have more opportunity,” said Lee.
The facts that various developers and individual developers has jumped in thanks to booming open market, higher spec of the smart phone and multi-platforms like iOS, Android OS, and Windows Phone 7 changed the development environment are noticeable from the mobile game market of 2011.
“various businesses’s jumping in and investment from other industries are positive signs from the point of view of expanding the market,” said Lee.
■ 5 Keywords for 2011 Mobile Game Market is SMART
Social : The social game was as much popular as the smart phone was in 2010. In 2011, lots of the social games based on the smart phone will likely come as they are good at each other. Many companies are actually working on platforms like Apple Game Center, Mobage Town, Open Paint for the social game.
Multi-platform : So many and various portable equipments such as smart phone, tablet PC, and portable gaming machine are introduced. Therefore developers will work on multi-platform.
Alliance & Acquisition : As so many companies jump into this market, companies with common interest would build alliance or prospective one would get M&A’d.
Revenue model diversification : The most usual payment means so far was ‘pay and download’. But as the number of ‘free to play’ games gets increased, the diversification of revenue model should also be considered.
Traffic oriented move : The mobile games so far required download only once but it would likely change to traffic-oriented since unlimited 3G data traffic is generalized and the number of network games gets increased.